Book Review: Shaped Beadwork

Master bead worker Diane Fitzgerald takes beading to the next level in her latest book that showcases the sculptural possibilities and endless versatility of the peyote stitch. Rather then devoting a large portion of the book to covering the basics, this jumps straight to the good stuff beginning with two-dimensional shapes like triangles, squares, hexagons and diamonds. The author then uses these same forms as open shapes, which can be linked into an array of earrings and bracelets as varied as the beaders who create them.

As neat as these components are, it is the three-dimensional shapes that really sing as seen in the Tetra, Dodeca or Deca bead. These multisided beads can be mixed and matched to create stunning jewelry pieces and when combined with bezeled elements, the design possibilities are practically endless. The collection of nailhead-embellished beads is breathtaking yet clear, row-by-row instructions make even complex designs like the Minaret Bead easy to reproduce. The Trillium Necklace and multifaceted Bauble appear complicated but once you begin, it soon becomes clear that these are just variations of the basic shapes learned in the first chapter.

Close-up photography, helpful color graphs and cookbook style supply lists will allow all intermediate and advanced beaders to recreate these designs with confidence. More advanced beaders will likely use this as a springboard toward inventing new ways to manipulate familiar shapes and gain a renewed appreciated for the endlessly versatile peyote stitch. This book will meet or exceed most beaders expectations and isn’t that a nice surprise.

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